Potential as a Spurs' classic draft-and-stash
Well, it wasn’t ideal to draft someone in the lottery who will probably spend a few years in Austin, but that’s what they did. This does have a silver lining, though. It means the Spurs organization is so confident in the current roster and other offseason moves (*cough* John Collins) that they decided to grab a foundational piece for the future, no matter how distant that future may be.
Can an 18-year-old kid immediately make a positive impact on an NBA court? Unless his name is Zion or LeBron, probably not. But maybe spending two years in the G League could mean he emerges on the same level as second overall pick and G League Ignite alum Jalen Green.
If all goes well, he could be starting by year two or three, which is the realistic timeline no matter who San Antonio drafted. I would like to see him get NBA minutes, but if he isn’t ready, then why rush? He should emerge as a real threat once his timeline is completed. If he doesn’t make his NBA debut until 2024, then maybe he can be in the Rookie of the Year discussion, which would be great.
If the Spurs make a free agency splash and continue to develop their young core, they could go into the future with a secret weapon in Austin. When he’s ready, he’ll emerge like a cicada (possible nickname alert) and make his opponents' lives miserable on both ends of the court.
Seeing the 12th pick make an immediate impact was the expectation, but players have often exceeded initial expectations in the Silver and Black. See Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Patty Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kyle Anderson.
Josh Primo won’t be any different. We can all complain now, but eventually, we’ll see that Josh was the (I’m so sorry) primo and unexpected pick in the draft.